Tag Archives: Ziggy Stardust

2013 ➤ Bowie officially not “devastated” as fab retrospective show goes ahead at the V&A

David Bowie, lyrics, pop music, retrospective, memorabilia, exhibition, William Burroughs,Victoria & Albert Museum

Photography showing at the V&A: David Bowie and William Burroughs, 1974. Photograph by Terry O’Neill. Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive 2012

❚ WHAT A COUP! FIRST CAME THE OFFICIAL DENIAL. A press release from Bowie Towers last week denied the godlike one’s involvement in an upcoming retrospective exhibition in London at the Victoria & Albert Museum. “I am not a co-curator and did not participate in any decisions relating to the exhibition,” he said, adding however: “The David Bowie Archive gave unprecedented access to the V&A and museum’s curators have made all curatorial and design choices. 

A close friend of mine tells me that I am neither ‘devastated’, ‘heartbroken’ nor ‘uncontrollably furious’ by this news item.

”

➢ Listen online to World At One discussing
next year’s Bowie exhibition

Then came today’s official announcement. When the V&A confirmed that its show will “explore the creative processes of Bowie as a musical innovator and cultural icon”, the BBC’s lunchtime current affairs bulletin, World at One, interviewed a key curator without a single mention that this show doesn’t open until next spring.

Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie,stage costume, Kansai Yamamoto

Ziggy stage costume by the Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto who described Bowie in 1972 as “neither man nor woman”. This outfit goes on show next year. (Photograph by Polkadot.tv)

After three years of negotiation, Geoffrey Marsh, the curator of performance, and Victoria Broackes, curator of theatre, were rightly exultant to have pulled out the Bowie plum. “He has had so much influence in other areas — film, theatre, fashion, design. In fact, he impacts on all departments of the V&A,” Marsh said, heading off recent criticism that pop-star memorabilia was rather a lightweight subject to justify its own claim to be “the world’s greatest museum of art and design”.

Most of the 300 objects going on show were collected by Bowie over his lifetime: handwritten lyrics, costumes, posters, instruments, stuff he regarded as important records of his career. Marsh says: “It is an extraordinary collection and there are very few performers who have hung on to their collections. In all areas of Bowie’s creativity, he is still having an impact today.”

Potential exhibits shown off at today’s press launch included a model of the set for the Diamond Dogs tour, the spangly catsuit designed by Freddi Burretti for Bowie’s 1972 performance of Starman on Top Of The Pops, Natasha Korniloff’s Pierrot costume from the 1980 video for Ashes to Ashes, and Alexander McQueen’s Union Jack coat created for the cover of Earthling in 1997.

➢ Showtime at the V&A — from The Guardian’s coverage, Sep 5:

No one from the V&A has sat down face to face with Bowie and, given he does not fly, it would be a surprise to everyone if he even made it along.

David Bowie, portrait, retrospective,  exhibition, Victoria & Albert Museum

Self portrait in pose also adopted for the album cover of “Heroes” 1978. © The David Bowie Archive 2012. Image © V&A Images

“I’m sorry to say I’ve never met him,” said co-curator Victoria Broackes. “Of course I’d love to and I really hope he likes it but in a way, because the V&A always takes editorial control of what it produces, it is better that we haven’t met him.”

Geoffrey Marsh said there were piles of books on Bowie – “I’m sure there will be many more university doctorates” – but this is the first significant exhibition and he promised it would be “groundbreaking” and hopefully achieve the almost impossible task of appealing to both diehard fans and an audience too young to really know how much of an influence Bowie was and still is.

That present tense is important and the V&A has called its show David Bowie is. “It underpins a key tenet of the exhibition,” said Broackes. “David Bowie’s impact today.”

It will examine what has influenced him – German expressionism, music hall, Theatre of Cruelty, French chanson, surrealism, Brechtian theatre, avant-garde mime, musicals and Japanese kabuki to name a few – and the countless artists he in turn has influenced… / Continued at Guardian Online

RAPACIOUS V&A PRICING EXPLOITS AN EAGER PUBLIC

➢ Enigmatically titled David Bowie is, the exhibition runs March 23–July 28, 2013, at the V&A, London SW7 2RL. Book online, in person at the museum, or by phone +44 (0)20 7907 7073 where you will spend a lifetime on hold. Top ticket price is an outrageous £15. By booking online you avoid being blackmailed into making an additional donation to the museum, though the V&A has the cheek to add a “handling charge” to all purchases! (Update: Ticketing has subsequently been farmed out to a theatre agency which has upped the price to £15.80 to include its own “booking fee”!)

How dare they, with Gucci sponsoring the exhibition? Gucci could readily pick up the whole bill for the show, and the V&A’s exploitative tactics let the institution down badly. Brace yourselves for a catalogue priced in similar “We saw you coming” mode (a catalogue for the last major show, British Design, cost £40). This is an ugly and accelerating trend among the capital’s cultural institutions.

Is Bowie alive or dead?

➢ Definitely alive — but busy on the school run, says The Times’s chief rock critic, Sep 5:

Ever since 2006, when he last performed live, rumours have circulated that David Bowie is at death’s door. What has he been doing? Taking his 12-year-old daughter to and from school in New York, according to his publicist. Having been too busy as an epoch-defining rock star to be a hands-on father to his son Zowie (now the film-maker Duncan Jones), Bowie is now helping out with his daughter’s homework. He is living through a period of normalcy that his early fame denied him. The state of his heath is unknown… / Continued at Times Online

David Bowie, Starman, 1972, Top of the Pops,V&A , exhbition, tipping point, BBC

The moment the earth tilted July 6, 1972: During Starman on Top of the Pops, David Bowie drapes his arm around the shoulder of Mick Ronson and a new generation of pop is triggered. The spangly 26-inch waist catsuit by Freddi Burretti will be on show at the V&A retrospective in 2013. Videograb © BBC

1970 ➤ Where to draw a line between glitter and glam:
naff blokes in Bacofoil versus starmen with pretensions
— analysis by Shapersofthe80s

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➤ 40 years of Ziggy + another feast of Bowie

Ziggy Stardust, Spiders from Mars, David Bowie, Top of the Pops,✱ Who needs reminding it’s 40 years since “I picked on you-oo-oo”? June 6 1972 saw the release of one of the most influential albums ever recorded — David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars

➢ Bowie evening on BBC4, Friday June 22

9:00 BST David Bowie and The Story of Ziggy Stardust — exhilaratingly observant new TV doc narrated by Jarvis Cocker, 2012, directed by James Hale and exec-produced by Paul Bullock who brought us the brilliant Prince, A Purple Reign last year. Tight, total and definitive (in everything but an Angie contribution), it has contemporary rivals queueing to heap on the respect while nailing the genius with several gasp-out-loud revelations (you will sit up when Mike Garson hits the piano!). Quote of the era: “I can’t stand the premise of going on in jeans and being real.” A landmark. Repeated June 23, 25 and on iPlayer

10:00 The Genius of David Bowie — energised compilation of best archive performances, 2012, with breathtaking mature renderings of Heroes, Ashes and Fashion, plus magnificent Lou Reed and Iggy Pop as guests among others you’d rather ignore. Also June 23, 25

11:00 Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars — D A Pennebaker’s plodding, murky and utterly amateur film might as well have been bootlegged going by its appalling camerawork, shoddy editing, fudge sound (relieved only by its backstage footage revealing Bowie as the angst-ridden artiste). It was shot live at Hammersmith Odeon in 1973, the night Ziggy made his last stand even with Mick Ronson at peak power. “The first we knew we were unemployed was onstage,” the drummer Woody admitted at the Ziggy plaque unveiling in March. Historical curio worth a first watch just so you can feel the heat of real fan worship. If only the evident genius of Bowie himself could have been more watchably captured! But luckily I saw the whole wowie spectacle from Row C and the Standard was the first paper to break the news next morning. (This was the world pre-Twitter, remember.)

12:30 David Bowie at the BBC — live concert at the Radio Theatre, 2000, brilliant mix of classic songs (Fame, Man Who Sold The World, Always Crashing, Wild is the Wind) plus Gail Ann Dorsey on bass guitar. Also June 23, 25

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Where to draw a line between glitter and glam
— at Shapersofthe80s

If David Jones hadn’t become Bowie — at Shapersofthe80s

Behind Bowie’s “lost” Jean Genie video — at Shapersofthe80s

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Birth of Glam , Gary Kemp , Marc Bolan,Radio 2, documentary, glitter✱ TONIGHT — Another brilliant radio doc on The Birth of Glam presented by Gary Kemp goes out June 13 at 10pm BST on Radio 2 … Two years ago under its original title The Glory of Glam it prompted a major assessment of the difference between glitter and glam here at Shapersofthe80s. At that time we said “If this documentary doesn’t win a Sony radio award, there’s no justice.”

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➤ Ziggy’s 40 fabulous years of being not alone, cos you’re won-der-ful

Ziggy Stardust,Spiders from Mars,David Bowie,albums,anniversary,

Backside of the album that inspired generations: Bowie as the alien Ziggy about to call home from a phone box in Heddon Street, London. (Photography © Brian Ward)

❚ THE KING OF UK POP HITS HIS 40th ANNIVERSARY, just as HM The Queen completes her sixth decade on the throne, but we don’t imagine she planned it that way. The most famous Martian in history landed on Earth on June 6 1972 with the release of his album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars. He created a new breed of quintessentially British pop star and expanded the realm of rock-and-roll by injecting melodrama, fantasy and glitz.

A wistful older generation was yearning for the energy of the 60s. A teen generation faced a paranoid future threatened by nuclear apocalypse. The playfully androgynous Ziggy Stardust astonished both audiences by introducing a knowing sense of decadence rooted in individual style and a repertoire of life-skills to see us through whatever adversity. Laying down a bunch of wonderful melodies, the vocals enunciate the manifesto with clarity throughout — Five Years, Moonage Daydream, Suffragette City especially.

It was a bravura, theatrical strategy for pursuing what you wanted to get out of life, and capitalised on the iconoclasm of the 60s which had subverted society’s traditions of role play and “knowing your place”.

Ziggy himself was an entirely invented persona, an outsider rock-star created by the not-then-famous David Bowie who expressed through Ziggy a grand vision and through the Spiders consummate musicianship — not a note out of place, and Mick Ronson at his most snarlingly brilliant. The album is a pinnacle of arch originality like few others, and its fierce riffs and hooks have influenced almost every innovative performer since.

➢ Review of the album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust etc at BBC Music — “It sounds like a cliché, but to an entire generation this album has become a yardstick by which to measure all others. Why the hyperbole?

David Bowie, Starman, 1972, Top of the Pops, tipping point, BBC

The moment the earth tilted July 6, 1972: During Starman on Top of the Pops, David Bowie drapes his arm around the shoulder of Mick Ronson. Video © BBC

The 40th-anniversary celebrations and media activity are not entirely industry hype, but genuine tributes to an artist of undoubted genius. None the less, EMI is releasing a compilation of brilliantly remastered tracks on Monday June 4 on both CD and vinyl, and all are available to stream free at the NME which is trailing special features in next week’s issue…

♫ LISTEN at the NME — David Bowie streams a remastered
Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust in full

ONLINE AND ON THE AIRWAVES

Nick Rhodes, Gary Kemp,  Ziggy Changed My Life, 6Music, Radio2,

A picture they once said could never be taken: Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran at the home of Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet, brought together by the radio documentary Ziggy Changed My Life

❏ Not for nothing do the next week’s highlights come from the Ten Alps stable, one of the UK’s leading factual programme-makers. From midnight tomorrow BBC 6 Music kicks off with a two-hour assessment of Ziggy as the Pied Piper who shaped the dreams of Gary Kemp, Nick Rhodes and others. This thoroughly researched doc tells tales from a host of their peers and is recycled in a couple of other slots of more manageable duration…

Click to read Kemp’s article in The Times

➢ Ziggy Changed My Life: full two-hour radio documentary on BBC 6 Music, midnight BST June 2–3 — Songwriter Gary Kemp explains how David Bowie created Ziggy, how the album changed his life and influenced a generation of performers. Guests include: Trevor Bolder, bass player for The Spiders from Mars; Woody Woodmansey, drummer for The Spiders from Mars, Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran, Suzi Ronson, Leee Black Childers, Lindsay Kemp, Kevin Cann, Kris Needs, Ken Scott, Terry Pastor, George Underwood and Anya Wilson.

➢ Ziggy Played Guitar on BBC Radio 2, at 10pm June 6 — Reduced one-hour version of Ziggy Changed My Life

➢ Ziggy Changed My Life — Abridged 23-minute version broadcast last month on BBC World Service and available online at iPlayer “until 1 Jan, 2099”

➢ Inspirational Bowie: clip from 65th birthday broadcast last January on Radio 2 — His influences on Boy George, Peter Hook, Marc Almond, Annie Lennox, Debbie Harry, Guy Garvey, Jarvis Cocker

➢ David Bowie Archive concert (2000) on BBC radio iPlayer — Live in concert at Glastonbury in 2000.

ZIGGY DISSECTED FROM TOP TO TOE

David Bowie, Starman,

“After Starman, everything changed” — Woody Woodmansey, drummer and Spider

➢ Pushing Ahead of the Dame: David Bowie, song by song — incomparable blog by Chris O’Leary

FOUR ESSENTIAL BOOKS ABOUT BOWIE

Man Who Sold the World,David Bowie ,Peter Doggett,books ➢ The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s by Peter Doggett (Bodley Head 2011)

A song-by-song analysis shows how David Bowie embodied a decade. A work of impeccable scholarly exegesis, The Man Who Sold the World is about as far removed from conventional biography as its subject is from run-of-the-mill rock’n’roll. Still, it is hard to imagine another book telling you more of what really matters about David Bowie than this one … / Continued online

Strange Fascination,David Bowie, David Buckley, books ➢ Strange Fascination: David Bowie, The Definitive Story by David Buckley (Virgin 2005)

Written by the only biographer to get his PhD with a thesis on David Bowie, Strange Fascination is an exhaustive chronicle of Bowie’s career as one of rock’s most influential stars. In a combination of interviews, exclusive photographic material and academic analysis, Buckley examines Bowie’s life and music with an unparalleled level of detail. It’s a book written by an unapologetic fan. Buckley is a better writer than any of those to have tackled Bowie to date. If you read only one Bowie book ever, this should be it … / Continued online

Any Day Now, David Bowie,books, Kevin Cann ➢ Any Day Now: David Bowie The London Years (1947–1974) by Kevin Cann (Adelita 2010)

A feast of Bowie-ana served up like La Grande Bouffe, in ever more tempting waffeur-thin slices… It is impossible adequately to acknowledge the trainspotterish, yet deeply rewarding scope of this sheer labour of love that has amassed 850 pictures — friends, lovers, costumes, contracts, doodles, laundry bills, performances, candid snaps — on 336 pages … / Continued at Shapersofthe80s

Starman, David Bowie , Paul Trynka ,books ➢ Starman: David Bowie by Paul Trynka (Sphere 2011)

As befits an erstwhile editor of Mojo, Trynka is good on the musical development of a pop star whose early albums, David Bowie (1967) and Space Oddity (1969), were both little more than confused collections of ill-matched songs, and showed little hint of the confidence and brilliance that was to follow. Beginning with Bowie’s childhood as plain David Jones in post-war Brixton, Trynka tells a tale that has perhaps been told too often to surprise any more, but that nevertheless intrigues in its mixture of ruthlessness, shifting loyalties, monumental drug taking, decadent behaviour and, for a while, undiminished musical invention … / Continued online

JUST FOR TRAINSPOTTERS

➢ 65 crazy facts and bizarre myths about Bowie at the Daily Mirror — Did Bowie help start the credit crunch? He certainly says he was moonwalking years before Michael Jackson…

 Kansai Yamamoto ,V&A ,exhibition, British Design, Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie,costumes

Ziggy stage costume: the Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto described Bowie in 1972 as “neither man nor woman”. This outfit, similar to one worn with a boa in Ziggy’s last performance at Hammersmith Odeon, is currently on show until August 12 in the V&A exhibition, British Design 1948–2012

MORE BOWIE AT SHAPERSOFTHE80S

➢ Where to draw a line between glitter and glam

➢ If David Jones hadn’t become Bowie what would have become of the rest of us?

➢ Behind Bowie’s “lost” Jean Genie video

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2012 ➤ A change of life for Gary Kemp: actor, popstar, biker, curator

Gary Kemp, cycling, Huffington Post, columnist

Gary Kemp: popstar as cyclist as online sports columnist

❚ HARD TO KEEP TRACK OF THE NEW DAY JOB as songwriter Gary Kemp turns his hand to, well, a portfolio of new careers. Since their year-long Reformation tour ended in 2010, it has become clear that any further life for Spandau Ballet as a band is dependent on the good will of singer Tony Hadley. Meanwhile, every other band member has taken Hadley’s cue to strike out in new directions and establish his own website and Twitter account through which to promote his own solo skill-set.

What’s the latest venture for 52-year-old Gary Kemp? This week, among other things, he is a sports columnist. Later this month he reverts to his popstar guise by unveiling a plaque to Ziggy Stardust, the definitive rock icon created by David Bowie, on the site of his seminal 1972 album cover photo in central London. Within recent weeks Kemp has also launched a book of his lyrics, curated a filmed Dickens tribute for a new culture website, and incidentally became father to a third son, Rex.

The commemorative wall plaque anticipates the 40th anniversary on June 6 of the release of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The honour is being bestowed by, wait for it, The Crown Estate, which represents all property owned by the reigning monarch, the oldest dating from the Norman conquest of 1066. Today’s total is estimated to be worth £7billion.

Ziggy Stardust,Crown Estate, David Bowie, Brian Ward, plaque,

Commemorative wall plaque imminent in Heddon Street: Bowie photographed by Brian Ward in 1972 for the iconic Ziggy Stardust album sleeve. Gary Kemp describes the scene as a set for a film noir

The Estate is landlord of the building at 23 Heddon Street W1B 4BQ, where Brian Ward photographed Bowie in the rain beneath the yellow sign for the furriers K. West. (Shot in black and white, the cover pic was hand-tinted by the artist Terry Pastor which is why Bowie’s green stage jumpsuit here looks blue.) Today this is a pedestrianised strip of foodie destinations, yet a regular stream of Bowie fans makes the pilgrimage to this enclave off Regent Street to be photographed in the same pose on the same spot, thrilled also to find the red phonebox from the back cover still there. Undoubtedly at 9.45 on Tuesday 27th many more will be joining the speechifying at a press photocall as Gary Kemp pulls the unveiling cord.

➢ Update March 23: Hear Robert Elms interviewing Gary Kemp on BBC London, on the impact of Bowie’s creation Ziggy Stardust, and the concept album which sees a messiah arriving to save the last rock’n’roll star on planet Earth. All of which had peculiar resonance in the Cold War era, and on the teenaged Kemp in 1972 when many felt rock music was finished. Bowie’s album was, he says, “something to upset my parents with”

Yesterday, however, it was Kemp the cyclist who was announced as a sports columnist in the UK edition of the Huffington Post, the liberal-left American news website founded in 2005 by Greek-American Arianna Huffington and acquired last year by AOL for $315million. Born Arianna Stasinopoúlou, she attended Cambridge University in England, became president of the union, and met Britain’s most prolific newspaper columnist Bernard Levin who was twice her age and proved an inspired mentor during their nine-year relationship. She broke with him in 1980 and moved to New York, later marrying Republican congressman Michael Huffington, and divorcing him shortly before he disclosed he was bisexual. She campaigned as an independent candidate against Arnold Schwarzenegger to become governor of California in 2003. (Colourful background, huh?)

Gary Kemp, I Know This MuchBack to Kemp: his new column represents a novel way to express his undoubted literary talents which made his own book I Know This Much almost unique among rock autobiographies for being compulsively readable, as well as “a touching testament to spiritual growth”. Yesterday he introduced his passion for cycling in the HuffPost under the headline Bikes and Babies …

As birds begin to re-discover their song and Tarmac becomes sticky with the falling dew of budding trees, the Lycra-clad roadie reaches for his shaving cream and attempts to remove the thick, bee-catching hair that has formed around his legs during winter. This act will almost certainly upset my wife, who considers such things the territory of transvestites; but as I trickle blood down the plughole, the approval of my roadie peers is uppermost in my mind; after all, the aesthetics of riding, along with its tribal camaraderie, are why I came here in the first place.

‘Training’ has begun. Training turns cycling into a job of work; something earnest, painful; it eases our guilt — and oh boy, am I guilty! My wife and I have just increased our brood of young children to three, and chamois-creaming my crotch while she’s soothing the baby’s nappy rash just doesn’t seem right… / Continued online

Gary Kemp , Highgate Cemetery , Charles Dickens, John Waite, bicentenary, HiBrow, video,

Gary Kemp in Highgate Cemetery: discussing Charles Dickens with John Waite. (Videograb courtesy of HiBrow.tv)

But the big event of the week came on Monday when Kemp took his first steps to inherit the mantle of Melvyn Bragg and become an arts guru of the small screen by dreaming up a 200th anniverary celebration of the author Charles Dickens.

A classy new culture website called HiBROW was recently launched under the guiding hand of film-maker Don Boyd. He has invited an eclectic selection of professionals across the arts to play the role of curators and create original, high-definition video arts programming for exclusive viewing online. The first project Gary Kemp proposed was a live “post-modern” chat show, A Mighty Big If, hosted by 80s musician Richard Strange. Now Kemp can be seen prowling the snow-covered Victorian gravestones of Highgate Cemetery in search of Dickens’s family. With broadcaster John Waite, Kemp also discusses Tom Sayers, a Victorian champion bare-knuckle prize-fighter who attracted 10,000 mourners to his funeral there.

Joanna Lumley ,Simon Callow, Charles Dickens, bicentenary, Highgate Cemetery, HiBrow, video,

Simon Callow and Joanna Lumley in Highgate Cemetery: reading extracts from Charles Dickens. (Videograb courtesy of HiBrow.tv)

True,Gary Kemp, sheet musicWe also see Joanna Lumley and Simon Callow, famous thespian fans of Dickens, introduced by great-great-grandson Mark Dickens before they give readings from Charles’s work between the graves. Callow, who has depicted Dickens onstage acting out his stories, insists the author today would have been directing and starring in his own screenplays.

As for GK, all that’s left for him to try are tinker, tailor, soldier, spy!

➢ The true story of how love helped along The Lyrics of Gary Kemp

Gary Kemp , Spandau Ballet, Ivor Novello Award,

PS MAY 17: SUCCESS REAPS ITS REWARD

➢ May 17 update: Gary Kemp wins Outstanding Song Collection Award at the 2012 Ivor Novellos — “It’s made me feel very nostalgic for that 12-year-old boy, who in 1972 started writing songs alone in his bedroom and wondered if he was weird.”

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➤ Rolling Stone puts Ziggy on its cover but has nothing new to say about ‘How Bowie changed the world’

❚ THERE’S A BREATHLESS FOUR-PARAGRAPH teaser online at Rolling Stone magazine’s website in an attempt to sell the February 2 issue. It’s headlined How David Bowie Changed The World. Yet it promises nothing we haven’t read a million times before. Instead, try our own tribute on Bowie’s 65th birthday, linked further down this post.

Rolling Stone magazine, David Bowie,Bowie changed the world, Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust, glam-rock, Major Tom,We Can Be Heroes,Angie Bowie, New Romantics, Blitz Kids, Bowie's Bequest, ➢ Here’s the best Rolling Stone can find to say about Bowie:

He phoned Angela in London, asking for her help: witches intended for him to impregnate one during Walpurgis Night. He later said Satan was living in his indoor swimming pool. David needed an exorcism (“I really walked into other worlds,” he later said), and Angela got him one – though it was by way of a long-distance phone call. “David was never insane,” Angela wrote. “The really crazy stuff coincided precisely with his ingestion of enormous amounts of cocaine, alcohol and whatever other drugs.” In any event, the rite may have helped break Bowie’s fear of a fiend possessing him. “It was time to get out of this terrible lifestyle I’d put myself into, and get healthy,” he later said. “It was time to pull myself together … / Continued online at Rolling Stone

❏ Update Feb 8: Now this Bowie issue has reached the UK, Mikal Gilmore’s account of the Ziggy phenomenon proves a workmanlike retelling of the familiar, but is oh-so relentlessly downbeat. He even cites an alleged quotation from 1998: Bowie is supposed to have said that, “Without Iman, I’d have put my head in the oven by now”. It’s a cheap shot because the quote has never been attributed, so counts for nothing more than hearsay. Rolling Stone claims a circulation of 1.45m.

David Bowie, 65th birthday, New Romantics, Ziggy Stardust, glam-rock
➢ Here’s what Shapersofthe80s had to say on his recent birthday:

As a cultural lightning rod Bowie has bequeathed insights into the realm of the imagination. As a performer he has delivered a repertoire of life-skills through a cast of mythical personalities invented for himself as a popstar, from the self-destructive Ziggy Stardust and the amoral Thin White Duke, to his romanticised “Heroes” (his own quote marks added to emphasise self-awareness). Through their formative years, Bowie invited his acolytes to do A…. and B…. and C…. / Read on to discover what

➢ With 12 early videos, Shapersofthe80s asks where each of these turning points in Bowie’s career might otherwise have led him

➢ Try also Strange Fascination by David Buckley (2005) — “One of the most authoritative Bowie books you’re ever likely to read” (Mojo)

➢ The Complete David Bowie, by Nicholas Pegg (2011) — “I can’t imagine how this book could be better… the definitive read for Bowiephiles” (Uncut)

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